The best tips to save energy, just like the best tips to stay fit, are life-style changes.
It is our habits and our programmed psychological barriers that keep us from aligning ourselves with nature. Meanwhile our natural affinity to preserve Earth, and ourselves, tells us there is something wrong, and we long to fix it. Here are some tips to save energy and to feel better about yourself while doing it.
Anything you do to simply “sacrifice” ultimately fails. In fact corporate ads about how we all must pull together are usually dumping their social obligations to save energy, and avoid pollution onto you, the consumer. Making products more energy efficient is wonderful, but not widely practiced. When Jimmy Carter warned us to end our dependency on foreign oil he advised better gas mileage. Car makers soon saw they made bigger profits on bigger cars, ending that effort almost before it began!
That said, you will always save money and self esteem by buying the most energy efficient machine you can get, from toasters to trucks. Common sense will tell you to use up the guzzlers first, and/or have them recycled to someone who uses them for fewer hours, and less guzzling. Remember to turn off everything not in use, even cars in line at the gas station, and unplug all vampire (cords not in active use) wires. Power down, to empower your going green.
Insulate and weatherize your home. This will save you tons of money, even if the upfront cost is more. Wouldn’t it be great if political leaders sought to give homes and business incentives to make buildings energy efficient? Maybe if we could only convince people making more than two million dollars annually to pay as much taxes as the rest of us, this kind of program could be financed.
Use your body energy. We often forget that we could walk, bike, or car pool to destinations. We can also hike, bike, swim, or recreate in a thousand ways that are more enjoyable than sitting in front of an electronic screen. Doing yard work is very fuel-dependent these days; pruning, mowing, leaf blowing, and more fill our winter wonderlands (and summer serenity) with noxious fumes, and irritating noise. Plant what grows and falls to the ground naturally, eliminate constant lawn care by not keeping an energy-sucking lawn. This also saves money, time, concern, and use of pesticides, herbicides, and petrochemicals of all kinds. Think also, of the time you save!
Dress in layers, even in summer this helps you peel off to stay cool, and insulate with warmed layers of air, to stay toasty when it is cold. Keeping your thermostat low also helps invigorate us to get active; turn off the boob tube, and burn calories.
The greatest tip of all is to simply appreciate your family and your world. That which gives life, and sustains you, comes from the natural world. As we take time to appreciate it we learn more and more about life style changes that reward us for non-waste. Waste, if you take time to ponder upon it at all, is realized to be the greatest sin against nature that there is. Waste eliminates species, and conquers natives. It alienates and disconnects us from our source. It makes us feel bad, greedy, polluting and defiling of all that is beautiful. When you realize that your latte cup was once part of a pristine forest, you recognize your own power to influence such waste. You make lifestyle changes, and you change the world for the better.